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Why does Lithium have the sybol Li and not just L?

Question #123300. Asked by brachypelma.
Last updated Apr 06 2023.

doublemm star
Answer has 1 vote
doublemm star
15 year member
66 replies avatar

Answer has 1 vote.
Though I'm not certain, I'd say that it was to distinguish it from the more well-known lead, which, although given the chemical symbol Pb (after the Latin plumbum), was often denoted by the letter L in lists of chemical elements, e.g. Dalton's symbols (Dalton was about before the modern periodic table).


Response last updated by gtho4 on Apr 06 2023.
Aug 28 2011, 1:36 AM
mehaul star
Answer has 7 votes
Currently Best Answer
mehaul star
14 year member
477 replies avatar

Answer has 7 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
The element was named for the greek for stone, Lithos.
see History article at

The single L is sometimes used to denote the Lanthium series (Lanthanoids) of the f-block of the periodic table

Aug 28 2011, 2:59 PM
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